My personality tends to do things in bunches and so I usually try to limit myself when I get into new things, otherwise I become obssessed. This is why I don’t allow myself to play video games or start watching new TV shows. Every once in a while though, I allow myself to dive into something new and get fully immersed.
My latest kick are Broadway shows. Despite growing up in Weehawken and being ten minutes from Broadway my whole life, I had watched only three shows before last year. In the past 3 months, I’ve seen over 15 shows.
What does this have to do with you?
Well, there are commonalities when it comes to making changes to any part of your life – from adding a hobby such as Broadway to you transforming your body. As such, below are 3 lessons you can pull from my Broadway kick to you achieving your fitness goals.
3 Body Transformation Lessons from My Broadway Kick
1 – Know Why You Started Isn’t Why You’ll Continue
Often times why we start something, is not why we choose to continue it.
I had started to watch shows with one particular person, but when we stopped going together, I started to watch more at a higher rate and ended up enjoying them more. For the past couple of months, really since the inaugaration, I’ve needed some more “uplifting” distractions and they have served that purpose amazingly (especially Come From Away).
Read the rest of Broadway and 3 Body Transformation Lessons
During this time of year, I usually send an email discussing habits that you can do to minimize the effects of over-indulging during the holidays (You can read that here). This year though, I want you to start asking slightly different questions.
I work with a lot of people and there are underlying themes to the issues they are having trouble with. Here are some common complaints:
A – I know I shouldn’t drink that much…
B – I know I shouldn’t eat that food…
C – It’s not what I eat, but I should eat less…
D – I know I should workout more often…
E – I go to the gym consistently, but I’m not sure what to do when I’m there…
F – I should drink more water…
G – I should get more sleep…
If everyone didn’t drink alcohol, ate all the healthy foods in good portions, worked out consistently and with enough intensity, while drinking enough water and getting enough sleep, I wouldn’t have a job.
But what do you think of a person who does all of those things?
Honestly, if someone didn’t drink, ate all healthy foods in good portions, while working out consistently and with enough intensity, and drank lots of water and slept enough, what would you think of that person?
Most people think, “God, that must suck!”
Most people don’t want to be that person.
They consider a person like this to be:
“Someone who doesn’t know how to enjoy life.”
In other words, if you think these thoughts, you are actively trying to change behaviors to be like someone who you dislike. You are literally, fighting against yourself.
But here’s the thing, these images of this “healthy person” are not necessarily true…but they are pervasive.
Have you ever tried to not drink around friends who were used to drinking around you? They look at you like you committed a mortal sin against them.
Or what about ordering something healthy when you’re out with friends? Again, they look at you like you have two heads.
Most of the fears we have are usually based on the reactions of those around us, but not really on the action itself.
So this holiday season, I want you to start asking yourself new questions, because questions, more than anything, helps you shift your focus.
Start Asking Better Questions
By shifting your focus and thinking just a little differently, you will generally start to find that making drastic changes to your actions happens with much more ease.
So this holiday season, start asking yourself different questions. Here’s where to start:
1 – When it comes to alcohol consumption, if you’re drinking more than 4 or 5 drinks per week and want to lose weight, ask yourself:
Why am I drinking?
Is it because I want the alcohol?
Is it because I’m bored? Or is the alcohol helping me overcome anxiety? Or is it peer pressure?
No matter the answer, you will have a starting point in knowing how to start drinking less if you want to.
2 – When it comes to eating, if you’re eating too much or foods that you know aren’t good and that you don’t really enjoy, ask yourself:
Do I have to finish everything on my plate? Why? Is that an old habit?
Am I really that hungry?
Why am I eating this food?
Does it satisfy me and if so, would a little satisfy me or do I really need a huge piece?
Do I think eating healthy foods is boring? Do I consider healthy foods “disgusting?”
Eating and hunger are complicated. It took me years to master being able to listen to my appetite, and most people should not listen to only their appetite at the beginning, because appetite can lie to you, especially if you’ve trained it poorly. The first step though is at observing yourself and why you’re eating certain foods.
The more you can simply chew your foods and enjoy each bite, the better the odds of eventually controlling your appetite.
3 – When it comes to working out, ask:
Is it true that I have NO time to workout? (*There are two 6-minute routines at the bottom)Do you think that you need a lot of time to workout, for it to be effective?
What is holding you back from working out?
Do you need to know what to do when in the gym?
Do you feel like you need more instruction?
Do you need someone to hold you accountable?
Do you think your workouts are boring?
What are your beliefs holding you back from working out either consistently or effectively?
4 – When it comes to drinking water, ask:
What systems can I add to drink more water?
Do I need more flavor? If so, can adding cucumber or limes help?
Is it “too boring?” If so, switch to club soda.
5 – When it comes to sleeping, ask:
Is it a problem falling asleep? How can you change your bed-time habits?
Is it a problem staying asleep? What is it that stirs you awake? Is it just a certain time, going to the bathroom, etc?
Is it a problem with staying up too late because you’re doing other things? If so, what’s the belief you hold that’s holding you back from going to bed early?
So this holiday season, enjoy time with your friends and family, enjoy the foods you will generally, only eat at this time of year, but also start asking yourself some new questions.
Remember, thinking just a little differently, can cause huge changes in results.
*Two 6-Minute Routines
If you’re looking to put on muscle, here’s a quick 6-minute routine to help. Do the following:
A – 1 Minute of Push-ups (don’t stop for the whole minute at all)
B – Split Squat – 1 minute without stopping on the left leg (keep the weight in the front leg),
C – Split Squat – 1 minute without stopping on the right leg
D – Repeat for a second round.
Six minutes and if you did nothing else, for the day, that would be better than having done nothing.
If you’re looking to lose weight, here’s a 6-minute routine for you:
A – 1 minute of burpees without stopping (should get at least 12 reps in)
B – 30 seconds of In and out jumping squats (between 15 and 25 reps)
C – 30 seconds of Mountain Climbers
D – 30 seconds of Jumping Jacks
E – 30 second plank
F – Repeat for a second round.
Again, 6 minutes and you can start to Banish Your “No Time” Excuse.
In the last newsletter, I talked about Doing a Time Log to figure out when you have time gaps that you can use to your advantage.
Today, I’m going to talk about how to find ways to increase your discipline to actually use that time productively.
“No Time” Isn’t Just About Having “No Time”
I own a personal training studio (which means I have 24-hour access to gym equipment) and I’m generally comfortable on getting 5 to 6 hours of sleep per night, which means I literally can’t use the excuse of “No time” to not workout…like ever. Yet, sometimes I use this excuse.
Do I have the time? Yes.
Do I have the will when I “have the time?” Not always.
What most people mean when they say they “don’t’ have time” is that they are usually not physically, mentally or emotionally ready to do the thing that only requires 15 minutes.
Beyond time, you need to be able to have those additional resources available to you.
This is why people will complain about not having any time, yet watch 2 hours of TV at night. Because to watch TV requires no additional resources. You don’t’ need to be physically ready for it. You don’t need to be mentally ready for it. And you don’t need to be emotionally ready for it. This is why if a show is one you do have to pay attention to, you will often delay that until you feel you can focus on it.
This is the real reason most people will use the “I don’t have time” excuse for not working out or eating right.
It’s not only time that’s needed – it’s also discipline and actual physical energy.
Find Ways to Restore Yourself
Have you ever been around someone who says things that really get under your skin, but you can’t say anything against it because it wouldn’t be worth the effort?
If so, then you know what requires emotional labor. Emotional labor can be taxing, especially if you don’t like your boss or you work with people and you lean more towards being an introvert.
Or have you studied for an exam or researched something for work that left you mentally exhausted. Or have you ever gotten a bad night of sleep and then had to work 12+ hours?
If so, then you know how easy it can be to be emotionally, mentally or physically drained and to simply use the “I don’t have time” excuse.
So then the question becomes, how can you “restore” yourself to get the energy back to remain disciplined after a long day?
The key is to find something that revives you and that allows you to simply get started on the activity that you say you “don’t’ have enough time” for.
For example, If I’ve had a long day and am spent from “emotional labor” reading or meditating often tends to recalibrate my brain and allows me to bounce back.
If I’m exhausted physically from lack of sleep and being on my feet for 14-hours, then foam rolling relieves some stress and frees up some energy for me to at least get started with working out.
If I’ve been in front of my computer for the past 12-hours, then eating a snack and taking a small nap (I’ve perfected the 8-minute nap) is a way to help relieve something mentally taxing.
Obviously, these are things that work for me. And still sometimes, the TV wins, but a lot less often than if I don’t’ do these things.
For others, it might be watching 5-10 minutes of a comedy show on your phone, that allows you to bounce back from an emotionally draining day.
If you’re exhausted, sometimes signing up for a class where you have to show up, gives you that impetus to get started and that allows you to move past the hardest part of working out – showing up.
If you’re mentally drained, maybe talking to a friend is the way you get around the exhaustion.
No matter what you choose, knowing how to bounce back, at least a little, to give yourself that extra energy that allows you to get started can be the difference between achieving your goals versus being even further away from where you want to be.
All of these things are really about increasing your discipline to do the things that will ultimately make you better.
Banish the “No Time” Excuse Forever
The key to banishing the “No Time” Excuse forever is finding short, but effective ways that helps you to restore you mental, physical and emotional energy so you can get started on things that will improve your life. Here are 3 questions to start with:
1 – What can you do to help restore your emotional energy, after a long day? (examples include, reading, journaling, writing, talking to friends, watching something funny, etc)
2 – What can you do to help restore your mental energy? (examples include eating a high protein meal with a little bit of carbs, making sure you drink enough water, taking a small nap, laughing with a friend, meditating, working out, etc.)
3 – What can you do help restore your physical energy? (examples include eating a high protein meal with a little carbs and fat, making sure you’re hydrated, taking a small nap, meditating, stretching, foam rolling, getting a massage, doing a light workout, etc)
A – How can you use those techniques to get rid of the “No Time” excuse for working out?
B – What would you need to do to get-in 3 to 5 workouts next week (the week of Thanksgiving)?
Next week, I’ll discuss the one thing we can all do that has been proven to increase discipline overall and requires no extra emotional or physical energy. Until then, answer those questions and find the techniques that can help you overcome an emotionally, mentally and physically draining day. Cheers!
You may have not known this, but there is an election about to happen. I know, shocking!
And as important, as it is to choose a candidate, there are choices you have to make daily that may be even more important – how you spend your time is one of those decisions.
If there is one thing I’ve heard more than anything else for working out, it’s “I don’t have enough time.”
Yet, when’s the last time you actually looked at how you spend your time.
Step 1 – Track How You’re Spending Your Time
If we had problems with cash flow, we would make a budget, which would give us a better idea as to how you were spending your money. Yet most of us don’t really know how we spend our days.
Some people are truly productive, some are good at wasting time and others are good depending on the day.
So if you use “I don’t have enough time” as an excuse to not workout or eat healthy, I want you for one weekend day (today) and one weekday (tomorrow), to simply fill out how you spend your time.
Attached is a sheet you can use to track your time or you can use a time tracking app, such as Toggl or Hours Keeper (iPhone | Android).
Step 2 – Become Aware of Where You Have Time Gaps that You can Change
Then, after you’ve tracked how you spend your time for a couple of days, ask yourself these 5 questions:
1 – How are you spending your time?
Are you spending your time doing things that you truly enjoy and things you “have to do” or are you wasting time on Facebook or other activities that don’t leave you feeling satisfied with how you’re spending your time.
2 – What are your top priorities, from a purely, how you’re spending your time perspective?
Don’t judge yourself for it, but simply take notice of it and be aware of how you’re spending your time.
3 – How does the time you spend match with what you want from your life?
4 – What are the activities that are your “time suckers?” Things that take up time, but don’t really benefit you.
5 – How can you start to change your “time suckers” for activities that are more aligned with your priorities?
Time is the only invaluable resource we have. It’s the one thing that we all have the same amount of each day and the only difference is in how we use it.
Step 3 – Find a Way to Clear-up some Time
Whenever I open my Facebook app, I look at the clock and literally catch myself saying, “Ok, only 3 minutes.”
25 minutes later, I’m like, “I could’ve gotten so much more done!”
The Facebook app is a time sucker for many people. One of the ways I’ve drastically reduced that is by getting rid of any and all notifications and as such, it doesn’t draw me in as often.
Cutting down on a time sucker can sometimes be as easy as getting rid of notifications.
Planning is another. Sometimes, simply making a list of things you want and need to do, and then prioritizing them with a time-goal to hit each one, allows you to focus on the things you want to do more often.
When I make workout routines for people, I often place the most important things first – the movements that have the most impact for the client, while moving them towards their goals most effectively and that they won’t necessarily do on their own.
This way, as the workout progresses, if we need to spend more time on a primary movement, we can and if we don’t get to something that’s not as important it doesn’t impede their workout or progress as much.
This is how you should schedule and plan your days – with the things that matter most having a priority over less important things.
Business woman looking on option and select no decision isolated on white background
Learning to say ‘No’ is another way to clear up time.
Saying no can be towards events that won’t be aligned with your priorities or it can be no to a current responsibility that takes too much precedent over your time.
I’ve given you three examples as to how you can clear-up some time, but feel free to be as inventive as you want.
Step 4 – Start with one 15-Minute Time Gap Doing Something Important to You
Now that you’ve found a way to find more time within your day. Use that time gap, at least 15-minutes per day, to do something that’s more aligned with your priorities.
If you can find more time, then use it. But if not, start with at least 15-minutes.
Sometimes things are hard to change. Sometimes it’s just as easy as not getting notifications on your phone.
Finding and reprioritizing 15-minutes of your day can sometimes be simple, just by becoming aware of how you’re spending your time. Fill out the Time Tracker for this Sunday and Monday and see where you can find those 15-minutes. Cheers!